I’ve had my Jawbone Up tracking bracelet now for the three weeks and wanted to share with you some of the insights that I’ve gleaned which have certainly led to me adapting my behaviour:

-A day where I drive to work and just walk around the office will result in no more than 5k steps (half the recommended daily target)

-A 40 minute morning run outside adds about 13k steps in one go (and a great sense of achievement that you have exceeded the daily target before 8.30am)

-A 40 minute morning run on the treadmill adds 9k steps -not quite sure why there’s such a variance, but I’ve been outside more over the last couple of weeks despite the dark and wet evenings we’re now experiencing..

-A day in London walking from Waterloo Station to our office in Holborn (1.5 miles) and back and then walking home from our local station (1 mile) brings me in well over the 15k

-I’m now very aware of the energy (in calorie terms) used up by activity as well as needed just to keep your body alive. Yesterday, for instance, was an active day which used up over 5k calories in total which surprised me. Using the food app helps me track the calories consumed too, so that you get an integrated view.

I’ve gleaned less from the sleep tracking, a part from the fact that i definitely need 7 hours a night to function well. It has been a hectic few weeks and my sleep has ranged from five and a half hours (and a very grumpy me) to 10 hours (which wasn’t good either). On this topic, I was interested to see the results of The Big Sleep Experiment which found that just getting closer to 8 hours of sleep a night can make a dramatic difference to our health in just a few days.

Finally, whilst it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the mass of personal data that is now available, it’s important to keep your eye on the bigger picture tracking key metrics which will give you clues to how healthy you are. At the highest level, my own personal dashboard includes:

-my Body Mass Index (BMI) which is the classic measure of whether or not someone is obese. But it’s a broad brush and will be influenced by how much muscle we have as muscle weighs more than fat.

-my % of body fat. I’ve used a number of different tools to get this number and it varies from machine to machine; so I’ve settled on one machine and focus on the trend, rather than the number

-my v02 max which tells me how fit I am and has, fortunately, remained consistent for the last decade

There are many other metrics that I track less frequently as they require blood samples.